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April 15, 2013 - Goodwill's 17th Annual Power of Work Luncheon

What: The annual Power of Work Luncheon is a fundraiser and awards ceremony for Goodwill Industries

Where: Marriott City Center, 1701 California St. Denver, CO 80202

When: Thursday, April 18, 2013

Time: 11am

Ticket Prices: Individual seat: $50 Table of ten: $600 (includes table sponsor benefits) Empowerment Sponsorship: $1,000

Beneficiary: Goodwill Industries

Honoree(s): Yayel Yohannes, Bruce Deese, Christian Kalenga, Nancy Madrid

EMCEE: Cheryl Preheim, 9NEWS weekend evening anchor

Welcome: Elena Sirpolaidis

Speaker: Andrew Hudson, career expert

Catering: Denver Marriott City Center

Sponsors: Presenting sponsor, EON Office; Community Leader sponsor, The IMA Financial Group; individual award sponsors: Delta Dental of Colorado, LaserCycle USA & The Highest Image Foundation, Denver Marriott City Center, Syntrinsic Investment Cousel, LLC; Achievement sponsors: EKS&H, CenturyLink, Tebo Store Fixtures, Charles Schwab; Empowerment sponsors: Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, Bradbury Properties, College in Colorado, Crosbie Real Estate Group, Cummins Rocky Mountain, Goodwill Denver Auxiliary, InLine Media, JPMorgan Chase, North Highland Company, Philadelphia Insurance Companies, Rocky Mountain Human Services, TA Textiles, US Bank, Ultimate Specialties, ViaSat, Xcel Energy

Menu: Gourmet bread basket, mixed green tossed salad, chipotle honey brined chicken, apple or peach pie

Board of Directors: Chair, Carrie Mesch; Vice Chair, Gregory Ball; Treasurer, Michael Ebedes; Secretary, Jean Lawhead; Directors, Kelly Brough, Vanecia Kerr, Harold Klausner, David Leonard, Vicki Lovato, Derrick Maes, Todd Munson, Brian Ondre, Deb Quinby, W.Dean Salter, Jennifer Sobanet, Dawn Taylor Owens, Scott Worrell, Jennifer Wozniak, Clifford E Young

Blacktie Photos by: Janet Snell-Bergeon

 Nick Willis (left) with Bruce Deese, Inspiration Award recipient
Nick Willis (left) with Bruce Deese, Inspiration Award recipient

The 17th Annual Goodwill Power of Work Luncheon was held on Thursday, April 18th at the Marriott Denver City Center. This year's program honored four amazing Goodwill program participants with stories of overcoming tremendous odds, as well as a generous community leader: Kate Paul, President and CEO of Delta Dental.

While guests enjoyed a delicious lunch, they were treated to a keynote speech by career expert Andrew Hudson.  Then, Kate Paul was presented with the Community Leader Award, and four incredible people were honored for their stories of family, inspiration, bright futures and opportunity.

Participants who were honored included:

Christian Kalenga-Bright Future Award
After experiencing political unrest, genocide and the loss of his parents, Christian emigrated from the Congo to the U.S. where he faced countless cultural differences. Christian found hope and support through Goodwill’s Youth Career Development Program. With Goodwill’s help and through his own fierce determination and work ethic, Christian went on to earn a Daniels Fund Scholarship to Colorado State University.  Christian is working towards an education degree so that someday, he can serve as a guiding force in young students’ lives--just like Goodwill mentors did for him.

Nancy Madrid-Opportunity Award
Nancy struggled with drug addiction and abusive relationships for most of her life. After hitting rock bottom, she was determined to turn her life around but needed someone to give her a second chance. By giving her a job when no one else would, Goodwill was the lifeline Nancy needed.  Today, Nancy is celebrating nearly 15 years with Goodwill as a dedicated employee-- paying it forward to her coworkers and the company that changed her life.

Bruce Deese—Inspiration Award
When Bruce began his pre-vocational career at Goodwill, he was painfully shy and anxious in social situations. Through his participation in Goodwill’s GoodBikes program and his own resolve, Bruce transformed into a hardworking, outgoing and beloved coworker.

Yayel—Family Strengthening Award
When Yayel came to Goodwill’s Career Connection Center, she had only been in the U.S. for one month and was suffering from the emotional side-effects of having fled her native country.  With the help of Goodwill, Yayel transferred her former education into a meaningful career as a Birth Doula and Medical Interpreter. She is now hopeful about her future as she helps women have a positive birthing experience and also helps other refugees adjust to life in the U.S.


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